Canadian Forest Service Publications

Development and application of a spatially explicit moose population model. 1998. McKenney, D.W.; Rempel, R.S.; Venier, L.A.; Wang, Y.; Bisset, A.R. Canadian Journal of Zoology 76(10): 1922-1931.

Year: 1998

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 9779

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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We developed spatially explicit models of moose (Alces alces) population density for the province of Ontario using the geostatistical technique kriging. The models were based on moose surveys divided into four time periods from 1975 to 1995. Density change was calculated for the 1975-1979, 1980-1984, 1985-1989, and 1990-1995 time periods to visualize regional trends in population change. Between 1975 and 1995, moose density increased in the northwest and southeast parts of the province and decreased in some northern pockets. A marked increase in density occurred in the late 1980s, when both the selective moose harvest system and moose habitat guidelines were introduced in Ontario. Although a general increase in survey effort occurred in about 1986, no effect of survey effort was detected on moose population change between the first and last time periods (P = 0.215). To evaluate the possible effect of reducing number of survey plots on density estimates, we recreated density maps by using 25, 50, and 75% of the original data and compared the full-data maps with the reduced-data maps. The regression slopes and r2 for reduced-data versus full-data maps approached 1.0 as sample rate increased from 25 to 75% (B = 0.88, 0.86, and 0.96; r2 = 0.82, 0.88, and 0.95). A kappa analysis also suggests an acceptable performance of the 75% data map (kappa = 0.716).